GlennT Senior Member Joined: 13 Feb 2012 Posts: 38 Location: SF Bay Area (Silicon Valley) Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Kraps Il Primo Steam Wanabe... Grinder: Baratza Priciso Drip: Aeropress & "Don't ask don't...
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 3:47pm Subject: Need grinder recommendation for "mixed coffee user" household
My parents have reached the age where they really cannot live on their own, which fit well for me with the housing crash...
Being "children of the Great Depression," they would never consider paying "good money" for something as simple as a grinder, especially when Folgers comes preground. OK, they have noticed the improvement in taste when drinking coffee from whole beans ground the night before and loaded into auto coffee dripper. Current grinder is a blade grinder.
Dad still won't hassle with "that grinder sh**" when preparing coffee the night before. Mom will hassle with the grinder, but she gets intimidated by the iPod user interface. A complicated coffee grinder is NOT an option for her, and a "pain in the a__" grinder will not work for Dad.
About 80% of the coffee consumption is in the morning, run off an automatic timer. After a particularly good meal, especially on special occasions, we'll have a decaf drip.
I have a completely and totally inadequate Krups steam pseudo-espresso machine that yields better-than-drip results when mixed with enough foamed milk. Much as I love a good latte, I expect to work up to latte ==> cappuccino in stages, eventually buying a decent espresso machine when my taste buds have developed enough to appreciate one.
Since I really don't want to put up with the whole "wasting money" argument, I need a dead-simple grinding solution that is flexible enough for everybody. If I can make it easy enough--and they see enough taste improvement--, I may well get them to agree to set up the coffee pot the night before and preload the beens in the hopper. Morning coffee prep would be limited to pushing a button (or turning a time to preset location) on a grinder and loading the coffee basket after the 30 seconds or so of grind time. While it's a change, enough taste improvement would justify the adjustment.
When I make my own coffee, I'll adjust settings to whatever works for me. I can use a scale when I require more accurate dosing.
I really like Baratza's business philosophy and practices, and their refurbished grinders are my first choice. I do NOT want to have to buy a new grinder in the next year or two just because my current grinder is inadequate for espresso shots.
It looks like BOTH require the grinder to run while adjusting to finer grind settings, which means either emptying the hopper or wasting coffee. I cannot tell if either has a slow speed just for adjustments. It looks like the Vario is more forgiving if one forgets and adjusts to a finer grind without running the grinder. It looks like the Vario just gives a really lousy, out of calibration grind while the Preciso can be damaged.
Considering how many rolled eyeballs get discussed from SO's, I'm sure we're not unique in our diversity of approach to coffee.
What grinding solutions have you found work in these kind of mixed use households?
Does the Vario offer any compelling functionality for our usage patterns that would justify the higher price?
Is there another solution I'm totally missing because of my Baratza bias?
germantownrob Senior Member Joined: 2 Dec 2007 Posts: 2,017 Location: Philadelphia Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,... Drip: Brazen Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 4:04pm Subject: Re: Need grinder recommendation for "mixed coffee user" household
I have both. I personally like the Vario better for espresso and it is my dedicated espresso grinder however it is only small things I like better. Moving the settings finer is a problem when the grinder is not running since you are asking it to move when beans are surrounding the burrs, just not good to do if the machine is not running.
I really like the Preciso for all brews other then espresso better then the Vario, it produces less fines and I can taste the difference. The adjustment for grind on the Preciso is very simple, turn hopper clock wise for finer and counter clockwise for coarser, the micro adjustment is a mute issue for all other brews except for espresso. I do use the Preciso for espresso on the weekends so I don't have to fiddle with the Vario.
I paired the Preciso with the Esatto and it could not be easier to use, my wife only needs to walk up and hit button 1,2,or 3 to get the weight I have programed for the amount of drip she wants.
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 4:48pm Subject: Re: Need grinder recommendation for "mixed coffee user" household
I also have a Preciso and absolutely love it. I use mine for espresso and my Aeropress. It does both without a hitch and is ridiculously easy to use. The folks shouldn't get confused if they don't have to adjust it, there are only 2 buttons and nothing confusing.
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 6:05pm Subject: Re: Need grinder recommendation for "mixed coffee user" household
+1 to the Preciso. While you may read about some small issues that have cropped up with the Preciso, Baratza has made some upgrades to the machine to make it a bit more rugged. Regardless of whether you factor that in, the burrs produce excellent consistent grinds and it is a breeze to change grind settings. I plan on pairing mine with an Esatto soon and love the customer support at Baratza. The Preciso is as simple as twisting the hopper and paired with the Esatto, it is as simple as picking a grind and pressing the button.
Congrats! Your refurb machine should have the new gearbox installed in it, so it will be quieter than earlier models and should be a bit more stable. Enjoy it and the great customer service that comes with it. I'm enjoying a beautiful cup from my V60 using the Preciso. Fantastic stuff!
I am not sure. All new machines being shipped from Baratza have the gearbox I believe. The only reason that I know about it is because my original machine developed a few issues right out of the box, so I now have a replacement and they informed me that it has all new and new refurbed grinders have it. If you purchase through Baratza, that will definitely guarantee it.
Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012, 12:48pm Subject: Re: Need grinder recommendation for "mixed coffee user" household
Close to putting in the order for a Preciso but I have a question.
We're also a "mixed coffee user" household. I currently have a Rocky that I use just for espresso or lattes for me most mornings and for my husband and I over the weekend. I also have an inexpensive Bodum Antigua grinder that my husband uses for drip coffee most weekday mornings. For the Rocky, I single dose by weighing the beans. For the Bodum, we use a volume measure of beans that works well for our Technivorm and just turn the timer to full and let it all grind. To say that the Bodum has seen better days is an understatement. And the Rocky is driving me crazy with steps that are too large. Seems like a good time to get a grinder that can do both.
My question is this: because we'll be basically single dosing back to back between drip and espresso, is this going to cause problems with leftover grinds from the two different coffees? My Rocky is a doser model and currently I clean out the chute as thoroughly as I can at the end of each grind. Will the conical burrs cause less of a problem? Any tips or recommendations? Or am I just being overly concerned?
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